Cox Branson’s nurse manager Andrea Romeiser loves love. She aims to show it and speak it in everything she does, saying it’s her purpose in life to love all people.
That passion led her to a special project at the hospital – making souvenir pillowcases for patients on the two units she leads.
“Research shows that people associate a feeling when they see a word or color,” she explains. “I wanted to find an extra way for our patients to see and feel love. That helps them feel safe in their environment.”
Romeiser, who manages the medical unit and post-surgical floor, calls her mission “Doing Bold Love,” a name she says fits the natural culture of loving care at CoxHealth.
“Now more than ever, we need this act of love,” she says as she folds a stack of pillowcases. “We can’t just sit still and know we are good people who do good things. We need to be bold in showing how much we care. We need to speak love so that while our patients sit in a hospital room alone, they know we love them.”
Romeiser’s had the idea for about five years, but it finally came to life once she started talking to others about her pillowcase plans.
“Things just started falling into place,” she says with a smile. “I started calling hospitality companies and they began happily donating the cases. It’s inspiring to see our community get behind my little idea that’s grown into huge love for those who need it most.”
The Meyers family, who owns multiple hotels in Branson, donated the first round of pillowcases from the Best Western Center Pointe Inn with 500 more headed to the hospital soon. The Cottages at Fair Haven Cove in Cape Fair have also committed to send cases. Tracy Bristow, the owner of 4One7 Studio, donated her screen printing services and even ordered new supplies to make it happen.
“It’s just amazing,” Romeiser says. “We just couldn’t do this without the help of others stepping up like that. They see the importance of what we’re doing. I guess you could say love builds more love.”
Romeiser says the pandemic was the perfect time to launch the project since visitors aren’t allowed to be with their family due to restrictions. She tears up as she talks about how patients have responded to the loving souvenirs, which nurses sign before the patient goes home.
“The very best experience is when I get to take the pillowcases to the room – the atmosphere immediately changes,” she says. “The patients relax. They smile. They sometimes cry. They are overwhelmed with a sense of peace, safety and love – like a big hug they desperately need from their family. Staff feed off that energy and the cycle of love keeps going. That loving legacy we’re providing is more than I could ever ask for.”